2 Basics

Simple things should be simple. Complex things should be possible. (Alan Kay)

ne’s user interface is essentially a compromise between the limits of character driven terminals and the power of GUIs. While real editing is done without ever touching a mouse, it is also true that editing should be doable without ever touching a manual. These two conflicting goals can be accommodated easily in a single program if we can offer a series of interfaces that allow for differentiated use.

In other words, it is unlikely that an ne wizard will ever have to activate a menu, but to become an expert user you just have to use the menus enough to learn by heart the most important keystrokes. A good manual is always invaluable when one comes to configuration and esoteric features, but few users will ever need to change ne’s menus or key bindings.

Another important thing is that powerful features should always be accessible, at least in part, to every user. The average user should be able to record his actions, replay them, and save them in a humanly readable format for further use and editing.

In the following sections we shall take a quick tour of ne’s features.